Issue Date: 13/10/2011
Issue Name: A to Z of Britain (Part One) - Downing Street
Producer: Buckingham Covers
In a 26-stamp issue, Royal Mail takes a tour around Great Britain in alphabetical order, highlighting iconic landmarks which have had an essential presence in the nation's fabric. The first of this two-part issue looks at letters A through to L. It features the first 6 stamps (A-F) of the Britain A-Z issue along with a specially designed pictorial 'D for Downing Street' postmark, and is available signed by Baron Howard of Lympne.
No 10 Downing Street
No 10 is both the home of the Prime Minister and the nerve centre of the government today. The Prime Minister has his own room where he works and reads. There, or in other rooms in the house, he may meet colleagues, receive important guests, make phone calls or give interviews. Number 10 is also the venue for regular cabinet meetings. The cabinet meets every Tuesday while Parliament is in session in the cabinet room, which has been used by successive cabinets since 1856. The house is also a workplace for the people who support the Prime Minister, mostly civil servants. The staff includes the secretaries of the basement garden room, a busy press office, switchboard clerks and a unit to handle correspondence.
As Number 10 was built as a private house, the offices are spread across many rooms on different floors. During its history the house has undergone major development to be turned into a grand residence fit for the most powerful politician in the country.
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A small number of these covers have been personally signed by Baron Howard of Lympne, otherwise known as Michael Howard, the former Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition (2003-2005) who has previously held cabinet positions under the governments of Margaret Thatcher and Jon Major. Howard first became an MP in the 1983 General Election, representing the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe, which coincidentally is where we are located.